Comparative Study of Blood, Tissue and Serum Levels of Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) Detection in Breast Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


Molecular Biology Unit, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) detection was evaluated in breast cancer (BC). The statistical
correlation between the CEA mRNA and clinico-pathological features in the peripheral blood (PB) and tissue samples
of BC was assessed. Materials and Methods: RT-PCR (Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) analysis was
applied to study the expression of CEA in PB of 30 healthy females and 30 patients with operable BC before receiving
any therapy, as well as in the tissue of 30 BC patients. Results: CEA was observed in a number of normal subjects, but
there was a significant difference between the patients and controls. The detected CEA mRNA from tissue samples were
the same as PB of patients and a correlation was observed between the CEA mRNA in PB and tissue samples (Pearson
chi-square = 8.62, P=0.003). In the PB, CEA mRNA was significantly different in HER-2 (-)/HR (+) compare with
HER-2(+)/HR (-) tumor group (p=0.026). Finally, CEA in serum was also significantly different in HER-2(-)/HR (+)
compared with HER-2(+)/HR (+) and HER-2(+)/HR (-) subtypes (p=0.008 and p=0.043, respectively). Conclusion:
CEA mRNA evaluation is diagnostically valuable as a breast cancer marker. Additionally, CEA can significantly
improve the sensitivity of diagnosis.


Main Subjects